Capone-N-Noreaga Talk Chasing Fame With Big L, Say AZ Stole Sugar Hill (Video)
Capone-N-Noreaga always give incredible interviews, together and apart. ‘Pone and N.O.R.E hit Power 105’s The Breakfast Club this week, to talk some history.
Forever animated, the Queens duo talks fighting each other (just one time, physically, for the record), how N.O. feels Capone’s prison pick-up tops Suge Knight’s, and how the two met playing basketball.
Amidst the laughter, and tremendous storytelling, there is some spice. These two nice guys have never veered from a little controversy, as Charlamagne Tha God hits the ground running, asking ‘Pone about his beef with Prodigy—as ‘Pone promises Heads will hear about it when the two Queensbridge vets cross paths.
The two continue on a walk through memory lane to the mid-point, around 13 minutes in. There, Capone recalls being courted by Columbia Records A&R extraordinaire Faith Newman (the same woman who signed Nas) as a soloist. Opting to wait for his homie approaching parole, Capone passed on the deal that would have made him label-mates with his borough buddy. In recounting this story, Capone says that AZ and DJ L.E.S stole something from his demo: “Sugar Hill.”
Tha Visualiza’s highest-charting solo single of his career famously sampled “Sugar Free” by Juicy. Based on this interview, ‘Pone says he had a track with a similar beat (perhaps same sample), and extremely similar chorus.
But what Heads may find more interesting is that in no way is ‘Pone touting beef. “At the end of the day, it’s all love,” says Capone, who was trying to reportedly “get on with Big L.” Instead, the onetime Penalty Records MC says that L.E.S.’ father and his own father are best friends of decades. Moreover, appreciating AZ’s Rap roots, he says that The Firm MC likely dismissed his song, due to the fact Capone was more known in the streets (“shooter” is the word he uses) than on wax.
L.E.S still tours with Nas to this day, while AZ remains on an incredible run.
What do you think? Had Capone come out solo with the kind of momentum S.O.S.A had in ’95 with “Sugar Hill,” would things have been different in the ’90s East Coast Hip-Hop landscape?
Do you think one could also argue, given the sample basis, the track’s approach, and the message, that “Sugar Hill” owes “Juicy” by The Notorious B.I.G (Capone’s onetime homie) something?
This 38-minute interview is worth every second.